School bus safety for children and drivers


Review safety tips for getting on and off the school bus.


With schools gearing up for fall, school buses will be returning to the roads.

While statistically school buses are the safest method to transport children to school, it’s a good time for parents to remind children to follow safety rules while on the bus and at the bus stop.

At the bus stop:

  • Allow plenty of time to arrive at the bus stop. Children hurrying to catch the bus may make careless mistakes that could lead to injury.
  • Always walk, DO NOT RUN to the bus stop.
  • Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side facing traffic.
  • Stand at least six feet away from the curb to be visible to the bus driver. For most children, this would be approximately three big steps. The bus driver sits high in the seat and may not be able to see anyone standing on the curb.
  • Never speak to strangers at the bus stop, and never get into a car with a stranger.

On the bus:

  • Walk directly to a seat and sit down.
  • Do not hang out the windows or throw things on the bus.
  • Always stay seated when the bus is moving – wait until the bus has stopped before retrieving dropped items.
  • Talk quietly so the bus driver is not distracted.
  • If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.

Exiting the bus:

  • When exiting the bus, walk at least six feet away from the door (three big steps) to be visible to the driver.
  • Stay away from the bus wheels, and watch out for moving cars.
  • Never return to the bus to get a forgotten item. The driver may not see someone coming back to the bus.

Drivers who share the road should also be especially alert:

  • Be aware of when school begins and ends. Watch for children going to and from the bus.
  • Follow posted speed limit signs for school zones.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus if the stop sign is extended or the red lights are flashing. Wait until the lights stop flashing and the bus begins moving again to proceed.More information about safety for school bus riders and drivers and for those sharing the road is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.

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